Illinois State University (ISU) was founded in 1857, making it the oldest public university in the state. Originally ISU was set up as a teaching school to provide the state of Illinois with enough educators to offer free schooling to its children. When it was founded the institution was called Illinois State Normal University and it moved onto its newly completed campus in the village of North Bloomington in 1860. Eventually the village adopted the name of the university, becoming chartered as the town of Normal, Illinois in 1865. The university changed its name in 1965 (when it took on more liberal arts programs) to State University at Normal, and then again in 1968 to Illinois State University.
Today ISU is a large state university students which offers a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level courses. The university’s academic offering is divided into six colleges: College of Applied Science and Technology, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Education, College of Fine Arts, and the Mennonite College of Nursing. The student body is international with over 66 countries represented.
The university campus centres around the quad, with the university’s oldest buildings clustered around a green, tree-lined environment, making it the focal point of university life and an ideal place for students to meet up, relax and study. The campus is also home to the Fell Arboretum which has 450 species of trees from across the USA.